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How Long Do Cedar Shingles Last? (On Average)

Cedar shingles have a timeless and rustic appeal that can enhance the beauty of your home. However, before investing in this classic roofing material, it’s essential to understand its lifespan and factors that can influence it.

In this ultimate guide for homeowners, we’ll explore how long cedar shingles typically last, what affects their longevity, maintenance tips, and whether they’re the right choice for your home.

What’s inside this blog:

  • Why homeowners should choose cedar shingles for their roof
  • 5 key factors that affect the typical cedar shingle lifespan
  • A breakdown of how long cedar shingles last on average
  • Tips + tricks for extending the cedar shingle lifespan

Keep reading to learn more about cedar shingles and if they could be the perfect choice for upgrading your home with a new roof!

Why Choose Cedar Shingles? 🌳

luxurious house with cedar shake shingles

Before we dive into the lifespan of cedar shingles, let’s briefly discuss why they are a popular choice for homeowners:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Cedar shingles and cedar shake roofs offer a natural, warm, and charming appearance that complements a variety of architectural styles.
  • Durability: Cedar wood is naturally resistant to decay, insects, and rot, making it a durable roofing option compared to other roofing materials.
  • Insulation: Cedar shingles provide excellent insulation, helping to regulate your home’s temperature and energy costs.
  • Sustainability: Cedar is a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

5 Factors Affecting Cedar Shingle Lifespan 

The lifespan of cedar shingles can vary based on several factors. Understanding these factors will help you gauge how long you can expect your cedar shingle roof to last:

1. Cedar Shingle Quality

The quality of the cedar shingles you choose can significantly impact their lifespan. High-quality, clear heartwood cedar shingles tend to be more durable than lower-quality alternatives.

2. Climate

The climate in your area plays a significant role. Cedar shingles in dry, moderate climates tend to last longer than those in regions with extreme weather conditions.

3. Maintenance

Regular maintenance, including cleaning, staining, and sealing, can extend the lifespan of cedar shingles.

4. Roof Pitch

The pitch of your roof can affect how long cedar shingles last. Steeper roofs tend to shed water more efficiently, which can help prolong shingle life.

5. Proper Installation

The quality of installation is critical. Poor installation can lead to premature shingle deterioration.

Now, let’s explore the typical lifespan of cedar shingles.

How Long Do Cedar Shingles Typically Last? ⏳

The average lifespan of cedar shingles can vary widely based on the factors mentioned above. To make things easier, let’s go over a general guideline.

Cedar shingles can typically last anywhere from 20 to 40 years or more with proper care and maintenance. Now, higher-quality cedar shingles, such as clear heartwood shingles, can last longer, often reaching the upper end of this range or even beyond.

Remember, regular maintenance, including cleaning, staining, and sealing, can significantly extend the lifespan of cedar shingles.

It’s important to note that cedar shingles will naturally weather and change color over time, which is part of their charm. However, proper care can help slow this process and maintain their structural integrity.

Tips + Tricks for Extending Cedar Shingle Lifespan 🌿

If you have or are considering cedar shingles for your home, here are some maintenance tips to help maximize their lifespan:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your cedar shingles annually or as needed to remove dirt, debris, and mold or mildew growth. Use a gentle cleaning solution and a soft brush or pressure washer on low settings to avoid damaging the wood.
  • Staining and Sealing: Apply a quality wood stain or sealer every few years to protect the cedar from moisture and UV damage. This helps maintain the shingles’ color and prolongs their life.
  • Gutter Maintenance: Keep your gutters clean and free of debris to ensure proper water drainage from your roof.
  • Trim Overhanging Branches: Trim any tree branches that overhang your roof to prevent debris buildup and minimize the risk of falling branches damaging your shingles.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your cedar shingles for signs of wear, damage, or loose shingles. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Professional Inspection: Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor for regular inspections to identify potential problems and ensure proper maintenance.

When to Replace Cedar Shingles 🪓

Even with proper maintenance, there will come a time when your cedar shingles will need replacement. So let’s talk about some signs that indicate it might be time for a replacement. Firstly, you’ll want to look out for curling or cupping. If you notice individual shingles curling or cupping, it’s a sign that they’ve reached the end of their lifespan. You’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for any cracking or splitting. Cedar shingles that are cracked or split can no longer effectively protect your home.

Moreover, if your cedar shingles have a significant moss or mold problem that cleaning and maintenance can’t resolve, it may be time for replacement. Also, if you’re experiencing frequent leaks despite repairs, your shingles may no longer be providing adequate protection which may call for a replacement as well.

And lastly, if your cedar shingles are showing extensive wear, and you can see the underlying felt or decking, it’s definitely time for replacement.

Replacing Cedar Shingles: A Step-by-Step Guide 🏚️

close up to damaged cedar shake shingles

When it’s time to replace your cedar shingles, it’s essential to do so correctly to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your new roof. Here are 7 steps for replacing cedar shingles.

1. Roof Inspection

Begin with a thorough roof inspection to assess the extent of the damage and identify any underlying issues that need addressing.

2. Shingle Removal

Carefully remove the old cedar shingles, taking care not to damage the underlying roof deck or felt.

3. Underlayment Inspection

Inspect the underlayment and roof deck for any damage or rot. Replace any compromised materials.

4. Installation

Install the new cedar shingles following the manufacturer’s guidelines and industry best practices. Proper installation is crucial for the longevity of your new roof.

5. Flashing and Ventilation

Ensure that all flashing, vents, and chimneys are properly sealed and installed to prevent water intrusion.

6. Staining and Sealing

Once the shingles are in place, apply a quality wood stain or sealer to protect them from moisture and UV damage.

7. Clean-Up

Thoroughly clean up the work area, removing any debris and nails to ensure a safe environment.

Upgrade Your Home With Cedar Shingles

Cedar shingles are a beautiful and durable roofing material that can last for several decades with proper care and maintenance. While their lifespan can vary based on factors like quality, climate, and maintenance, you can enjoy the timeless charm and eco-friendly benefits of cedar shingles for many years. Regular cleaning, staining, and sealing, along with periodic inspections, will help ensure your cedar shingle roof remains a reliable and long-lasting investment in your home. 

Reach out to our roofing pros at Shake Guys today and experience the highest possible level of quality workmanship from experts you can trust. We’ll make sure your next roofing project goes off without a hitch–starting with a FREE roof inspection!

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